Historical rumor has it that a subordinate once asked Napoleon, “What kind of generals do you want?” “I want lucky ones,” he replied. Luck is important, and it does nothing to belittle Obama’s intelligence and hard-earned achievements to say that he’s been lucky (heck, he was in the Illinois State Senate less than 5 years ago). Obama’s winning the Nobel Prize for Peace—whether deserved or not—certainly comes at a good moment: as the newest trophy on his mantel, it adds to his varnish at a time when he needed it (coming back from Copenhagen). This morning, in a podcast on CFR.org, I touched on how Obama’s luck might affect his decision-making (for the worse), and discussed the broader upsides and perils that accompany the award.
A Lucky General?
Published on: October 9, 2009